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Business Copywriting: “The Offer”; Part 1 of 5: The Product or Service Explained

I look at marketing pieces all day long, both the ones we create, the ones that target me and the ones we do for our customers. I’m constantly amazed how many times I see a postcard, ad or brochure that fails to communicate, business copywriting can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be hard. There are a few key points to take in consideration when you are writing copy for any piece of marketing. You might not necessarily use them all in every piece, but you need to be reviewing them to be sure that your NOT leaving something out! I’ll be doing a series of 5 articles about these key elements: 1- The Product or Service, 2- The Price, 3- Payment Terms, 4- Incentives and 5- Guarantees. Every time you’re creating copy review these key elements and you’ll find your copy improving and getting better results!

1. The Product or Service

Have you ever watched a commercial and when it was done scratch your head and say “Now what was THAT!?” You need to identify your product or service clearly! When you discuss your product you should be aware of the following characteristics and how they affect your copy:

(A) Products & Services have FEATURES,an observable characteristic. “After every visit you will receive a complete report of what we found and did”, “This sofware automatically downloads critical updates daily”, etc.

(B) Features of your product have ADVANTAGES, and this is what you should focus on, don’t blah, blah about all your features, think about them and then identify the problems they solve or how they create advantages for the customer. Buying is an emotional decision, Features are the intellectual stuff, ADVANTAGES are the emotional pull. Whether it’s being on the cutting edge, or overcoming your biggest headache, the emotion is what sells!

(C) MOTIVES provide additional emotional pull for your product.After identifying the advantage, build the motives, An alarm company does this very effectively, when they explain the advantage that with their software you can see what’s going on in your home on your smartphone…but then then build the motive by stating, “Have your system send you a video clip of your kids walking in the door after school, or even see a live stream of what’s going on when your kids get home”. You have just given the buy increased MOTIVE and build the emotion for the purchase.

(D) BENEFITS tell your customer what they will gain or lose.These can be unspoken if very obvious, but can also be identified and pointed out. For example with the alarm company it is obvious that you will know your kids are safely home when you get the video clip. You may want to point that out with a statement like “with our system you’ll have peace of mind knowing your kids are SAFELY home”. You can also change it to have more impact by building the emotion even further “Have you ever called home to check on your kids and not had them pick up? Instead of panick or fear of the worst, our live video stream can let you check on them from your smart phone!” Leading with an emotional statement like that on a post card or brochure can have great value in building the interest that will cause your prospect to review the rest of your offer.

It takes more than just “Hanging Out Your Shingle” to sell your product or service these days.

The days are long gone that you could simply “Hang Out Your Shingle” and get business. (For you younger types, that’s a reference to the shops of old that would just hang a sign out front stating what they do or sell). You have a LOT of competition, and not just from other competitors in your field, but anything else the consumer could spend their money on! You need to build the value of your product in the mind and convince them emotionally that they need, want and have to have your product or service!

COPYWRITING TIP: Start an idea file, when you find or see somthing that triggers your emotional buy response, save it, analyze it and use it for ideas!

So remember, it’s alot more than just a list of services or features that will creat powerfull copy!

NEXT: The Price Strategy for your Product or Service

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